What’s Happening New Year’s Eve
Seattle’s iconic New Year’s Eve celebration returns this year bigger and brighter than ever.
For the first time, T-Mobile’s New Year’s at the Needle will incorporate drones. It also will be the first in-person New Year’s celebration at Seattle Center since 2019.
Sky Elements, a Texas-based drone light show company, will launch 200 drones during the show, said Randy Coté, the chief marketing officer at the Space Needle.
The drones will fly 200 to 600 feet high, directly north of the Space Needle. The 10 drone formations are designed to complement the fireworks and light displays. With good weather conditions, the drones will best be viewed from a 5-mile radius around Seattle Center.
Most of the formations are 3D, “which will translate really well no matter where you’re watching from in the surrounding area,” Coté said.
On the other hand, the countdown will be a vertical formation facing west and best viewed from Seattle Center. If you’re watching from the north or south, you’ll see a line in the sky, and if you’re watching from the east, you’ll see the countdown backward.
But not to fear! The 3D formations are “like living breathing shapes and forms that will look cool from any angle,” Coté said.
This year’s theme for the show is creating a world of joy, “whether it’s 10 minutes of just dancing in your living room or at Seattle Center,” Coté said.
“Having that celebratory release of ‘we made it through 2022, and we’re excited for the new year’ sparks people to have a happy new year and a prosperous and healthy one.”
New Year’s Eve festivities at Seattle Center will begin in-person at 8 p.m.
People will get to “hear the boom and see the flashes, and there’s folks from all over the city and the region that come and celebrate,” Coté said.
New Year’s at the Needle will kick off with two choreographed light shows at 10 and 11 p.m., emitting brilliant colors and beams of light across the night sky.
Radio listeners can tune into the light show’s audio simulcast on iHeart radio station HITS 106.1.
To watch the show from home, tune into KING 5 on TV or stream the show online at king5.com starting at 11:35 p.m.
New Year’s at the Needle’s 11-minute drone, light and fireworks show will kick off at 11:59 p.m., choreographed to a playlist celebrating big music and pop culture moments of the year, Coté said.
Live fireworks returned last year after a two-year hiatus, although crowds were not allowed to gather at Seattle Center. In 2020, due to the pandemic, New Year’s at the Needle used sky-mapping technology and video footage to present a virtual light show broadcast on television. In 2019, there were no fireworks for the first time in nearly 30 years due to high winds, though a laser show rang in the new year.
Find more information about New Year’s at the Needle (305 Harrison St., Seattle) at: spaceneedle.com/newyears
New Year’s Eve events
Here are some other events happening New Year’s Eve in the Puget Sound area.
Argosy Cruises New Year’s Eve Late Night Cruise
Ring in 2023 at a party on the water 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Participants will depart from Pier 55 on the Seattle waterfront to take in the city skyline before cruising over to experience the Space Needle’s iconic fireworks display. There will be a live DJ and a full-service bar. Purchase tickets online; $100. 1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle; 206-623-1445; argosycruises.com
Des Moines Burning Boat Festival
Join the local community for an indoor and outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration that will culminate in a fiery display. Participants can enjoy entertainment, refreshments and goodies, s’mores fire pits, games for kids and more. Then, visitors will write down their past year’s regrets or new year wishes and have them sent in smoke to the sky aboard a custom-built boat that will be set ablaze at midnight on Des Moines Beach. Purchase tickets online; $25, free/children under 5. 22030 Cliff Ave. S., Des Moines; 253-946-7347; seattlesouthside.com
Furs and Flannels
Wear your furs or flannels this year at The Octopus Bar’s 2022 Furs and Flannels New Year’s Eve party. Countdown to the fireworks at midnight with DJ SwerveWon and DJ Semaj and enjoy drink specials from Absolut. $10 cash entry. 2121 N. 45th St., Seattle; 206-397-4557; theoctopusbar.com
The Lodge at St. Edward State Park’s New Year’s Eve Celebration
Ring in 2023 at The Lodge at St. Edward’s second annual New Year’s Eve Party. Savor a last meal of the year in Cedar + Elm with a five-course tasting menu. Continue downstairs to hit the dance floor and party the night away with Jake Bergevin & The Javatown Swing Orchestra. Graze on bites and craft cocktails before a celebratory bubbly toast as guests count down to midnight and cast wishes for the new year. Then, retreat to your guest room to wake up in 2023. Purchase tickets online; prices vary. 14477 Juanita Drive N.E., Kenmore; 425-470-6500; thelodgeatstedward.com
New Year’s Day Beans and Greens
Start your new year off right with a favorite Southern New Year’s Day tradition, eating black-eyed peas and greens for good luck noon-4 p.m. The event will take place outdoors (with heaters), and food will be prepared by chefs Lakea Osias and Kinneta Johnson. Festivities include games and music. Free. 911 24th Ave., Seattle; 206-485-7563; wanawari.org
NYE: Midnight Request Line
Queer/Bar brings Bosco back to its main stage this New Year’s Eve for its NYE: Midnight Request Line party hosted by Jane Don’t. Baby Van Beezly will be spinning the night away and taking requests every hour of favorite jams from the past year. Doors open at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets online; $35. 1518 11th Ave., Seattle; thequeerbar.com
Reflect: NYE 2023
W Seattle and Moët Hennessy host a New Year’s Eve event where glitz meets glam and dance meets fever, featuring music by DJ Supreme La Rock. Purchase tickets online; $75/general admission, $189/VIP. 1112 Fourth Ave., Seattle; 206-264-6000; wseattle.com
Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve
Join the Seattle Aquarium and ring in the new year with those who won’t be staying up until midnight. The aquarium will host a countdown event at 11:30 a.m. packed with singing and dancing to original science songs, learning about marine life from surprise guests and a visit from the divers in the Window on Washington Waters exhibit. Streaming on YouTube at 11:30 a.m. Register online; free. seattleaquarium.org
Smith Tower New Year’s Eve Party
Don your fringe and feathers and ring in the new year from 35 floors above ground in true 1920s fashion 7 p.m.-1 a.m. The swankiest Smith Tower soiree of the season will send 2022 off in style with a live brass band, feather girls, tarot card and palm readings, as well as delectable tray-passed hors d’oeuvres. Tickets include beer and wine, a Champagne toast at midnight and more. Purchase tickets online; $250. 506 Second Ave., Seattle; 206-624-0414; smithtower.com
Viking Disco New Year’s Eve
Worlds collide at the Swedish Club when Viking Disco meets Swedish New Year’s Eve 7 p.m.-1 a.m. In Skandia Hall, Jen Ayers and the Perfect Storm will play disco favorites, while Skandia Kapell offers traditional Swedish music and folk dancing on the lobby floor. If dancing makes you hungry, dinner will be served with the theme “Ships Ahoy!” Dine like a modern-day Viking on seafood chowder, fish entrees, meatballs, salad and dessert. Purchase tickets online; prices vary. 1920 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle; 206-283-1090; click4tix.com/VikingDisco
Xtreme Theatresports New Year’s Eve Party!
Laugh your way into the new year with Unexpected Productions and Seattle’s only fast-paced comedy improv battle at 9 p.m. Twenty hilarious improvisers will be split up into four teams and scored by the audience. There will also be gift giveaways, hats, streamers, a Champagne toast and more. Purchase tickets online; $45-$55. 1428 Post Alley, Seattle; 206-587-2414; unexpectedproductions.org
What else is happening
Here are some other events happening Dec. 30-Jan. 5 in the Puget Sound area.
Polar Plunge — Jan. 1
Start the new year with a splash at the Lake Sammamish State Park Polar Plunge at 10 a.m. The festivities begin with registration, music and more on the shores of Sunset Beach. The crowd will “plunge” at noon. The first 300 registered participants will receive a Polar Plunge souvenir fleece hat, souvenir pin, commemorative sticker, a coupon for a cup of Ivar’s clam chowder and other offers at local restaurants. Register online; $10. 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road, Issaquah; lakesammamishfriends.org
First Day Hikes — Jan. 1
Participate in ranger- and staff-led hikes, snowshoe excursions, bike rides and more on Jan. 1 at more than 40 Washington state parks. These events will range in difficulty, a few parks will host more than one hike and some hikes will include fun educational talks where rangers will speak about the history and natural features of their parks. Find a hike online; free. Location varies; 360-902-8844; parks.wa.gov
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